Does McDonald’s Take EBT? McDonald’s Payment Methods

By Phillip Adcock
Last updated: Jan 8, 2023
Does McDonald’s Accept EBT

With the EBT card in your hand, you are quite confident that you can treat yourself to a feast at any quick-service restaurant. But you have no idea whether they accept EBT payments or not?

Therefore, this article will help you answer this question and give you some information about other payment methods available there.

Does McDonald’s Accept EBT?

Unfortunately, McDonald’s does not accept EBT to pay for meals or services, neither in-store nor take-out services. Nonetheless, you may be able to withdraw cash to buy fast food at McDonald’s as long as you get TANF benefits.

Furthermore, in some specific states like Rhode Island, Arizona, and California, where the Restaurant Meals Program is running, you can buy lunch at McDonald’s if you are homeless, disabled, or elderly.

SNAP And TANF Benefits

Is It Possible to Buy McDonald’s by TANF Benefits?

If you wish to utilize TNAF, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, to buy meals at McDonald’s, the good news is you can do it.

Furthermore, under TNAF, you will receive money from the state every month, and the state where you live will send that amount to your EBT card.

In addition, you can take money from an ATM and use it to pay all your bills, or treat yourself to a feast from places like KFC or Burger King.

Does McDonald’s Accept Food Stamps (SNAP)?

While Benefit Card is useless at McDonald’s, you may still use it to buy permitted edible products from some establishments, including:

  • Meat
  • Cereal
  • Fish 
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy 
  • Fruit
  • Poultry 
  • Grains
  • All Plants can provide food and seeds of many kinds

What a SNAP-Only EBT Card Can’t Buy?

McDonalds Accept Food Stamps

SNAP is clear about the things you can buy or not, and the list of prohibited items are:

  • Non-food items
  • Alcohol
  • Medicine
  • Vitamins
  • Tobacco
  • Immediately consumable food
  • Items for the home

Payment Methods

How About EBT Cards?

You can not use an EBT card to buy or order snacks at McDonald’s in most places in the US. However, if your state is a member of the Restaurant Meals Program, EBT can pay your bill there.

 This program is offered for the unhoused, people who have disabilities, or the elderly who are really in need of some meal.

Up to now, only two states (California and Arizona) joined the Restaurant Meal Programs, while Rhode Island and Florida make their version of this program on a smaller scale. Other states have agreed to participate in this initiative. 

What Payment Methods Does McDonald’s Accept?

Customers can pay for their meals at this place using several additional methods. Cash, Arch gift cards, Visa, MasterCard, you name it, are all accepted.

Not to add, they accept mobile payments such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

Other Relevant Questions

What Places Is Your EBT Card Available To Use?

Quick service restaurants like KFC and Burger King will be out of the list that you can use SNAP EBT. However, there are dozens of grocery stores and supermarkets where you may buy things to feed yourself with these electronic benefits:

  • ALDI
  • Albertsons
  • Costco
  • BJ’s Wholesale
  • The Sam’s Club
  • Food 4 Less 
  • Kroger
  •  Publix
  • Save-A-Lot
  • Ralphs
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Thriftway
  • Winn-Dixie
  • Whole Foods
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Jubilee Foods

Besides all the establishments listed above, you may use your food stamp card at many additional retail and grocery stores, regardless of the SNAP or TANF assistance you are receiving.

Is It Possible To Use Food Stamps In Quick Service Restaurants?

The answer is no, and you can not use EBT in quick service restaurants. However, if your state joins the Restaurant Meals Program, you can use your EBT card at most quick-service restaurants.

Remember you must be eligible for this program before using up SNAP benefits to order meals in a hamburger stand and most cafeterias.

It’s never a bad idea to do a little research about the EBT laws in your state. Because each state has its requirements for who will be qualified for whatever EBT program is accessible.

Who Is Eligible for EBT?

There is no one-size-fit-for-all in that situation because the criteria for those who qualify for EBT differ slightly from state to state. 

Still, in general, anyone who is an immigrant with legal status, seeker of asylum, American, or refugee and lives within 100 percent to 130 percent of the poverty line can register.

Your wages and the size of your home will be the main criteria to decide if you are qualified for EBT or not and what benefits the state will offer you.

Your document is reviewed once a year to make sure that you are still in the program’s list, and your mission is to contact them promptly if anything happens that might affect your qualification.

In most events, it’s advisable to seek up the criteria and restrictions in your area because they might vary, and some jurisdictions provide other programs to aid people in need, not just regular EBT food stamps.


In general, McDonald’s and other fast-food franchises do not allow you to pay for your meals using EBT if you are solely getting SNAP EBT benefits.

If receiving cash assistance via TANF is your choice, you can go to an ATM and withdraw money from your card. After that, enjoy your meal at a snack bar.

For more information about Mcdonald’s, you can read our articles on:

* Disclaimer: We do not buy, sell or provide service, we only share with you our trusted sources, and experience. In case of any changes in the products or services of the companies, all the information below is supposed to change at any time.

Phillip Adcock is the founder and Managing Director of the research agency Shopping Behaviour Xplained (SBXL), a shopping research organization using psychological consumer insight to explain and help consumers answer their questions about stores and services.

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